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SE AL

TEAM SIX
OUTCASTS
A NOVEL

HOWARD E. WASDIN & STEPHEN TEMPLIN

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New York London

B
Toronto Sydney New Delhi

Gallery Books A Division of Simon & Schuster, Inc. 1230 Avenue of the Americas New York, NY 10020 This book is a work of ction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are products of the authors imagination or are used ctitiously. Any resemblance to actual events or locales or persons living or dead is entirely coincidental. Copyright 2012 by Stephen Templin and Howard E. Wasdin All rights reserved, including the right to reproduce this book or portions thereof in any form whatsoever. For information, address Gallery Books Subsidiary Rights Department, 1230 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10020. First Gallery Books hardcover edition May 2012 GALLERY BOOKS and colophon are registered trademarks of Simon & Schuster, Inc. For information about special discounts for bulk purchases, please contact Simon & Schuster Special Sales at 1-866-506-1949 or business@simonandschuster.com. The Simon & Schuster Speakers Bureau can bring authors to your live event. For more information or to book an event, contact the Simon & Schuster Speakers Bureau at 1-866-248-3049 or visit our website at www.simonspeakers.com. Designed by Renato Stanisic Manufactured in the United States of America 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Templin, Stephen. SEAL Team Six outcasts / by Stephen Templin & Howard Wasdin.1st Gallery Books hardcover ed. p. cm. 1. United States. Navy. SEALsFiction. 2. War on Terrorism, 20012009Fiction. 3. Commando troopsUnited StatesFiction. I. Wasdin, Howard E. II. Title. PS3620.E53S43 2012 813'.6 dc23 2011048769 ISBN 978-1-4516-7566-5 ISBN 978-1-4516-7568-9 (ebook)

PART ONE
Courage cant see around corners, but goes around them anyway.
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cquire the target. Verify the target. Get authorization for the shot. Terminate the target. Alex bared his teeth in something approximating a grin. This was going to be a good day. In the darkness of 0530, SEAL Team Six sniper package codenamed Ambassador and comprising Chief Petty Of cer Alexander Brandenburg and fellow team member and spotter Petty Of cer Second Class Theodore Smiley Lonkowski slow-crawled across the rocks of an Afghanistan mountain overlooking the border with Pakistan. They maintained separation so they didnt look like a huge blob to anyone scanning the mountainside. They were headed for an alcove ten feet below the peak of the mountain with a clear view of a nondescript goat path that crossed between the two countries. Alex wasnt worried about the Pakistani border guards. They werent on the target list, at least, as long as they didnt interfere. Home, sweet home, Smiley whispered, sliding into the alcove and stretching out at. Smiley got his nickname from the permanent grin on his face. Guys said that in Basic Underwater Demolition/ SEAL Training his smile drove the instructors nuts. Even during Hell Week, he smiledit got knocked a little crooked, but he smiled. Youre a trusting soul, Alex said, gingerly easing himself in

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beside him, all the while scanning the dirt and rocks for creepy crawlies. The men could be holed up here for hours, maybe days. He didnt want to be sharing dirt with something that could crawl into his clothes. They wore their ghillie suits and ghillie boonie hatshandmade camou age clothing that looked like part of the tan mountain they hid in. The cloth was even coated with a chemical that was designed to fool infrared, although Alex wasnt sure he trusted that. Best to stay as hidden as possible so that no one could see them, not even the RQ-170 Sentinel drone covering their area of operation from somewhere north of sixty thousand feet. Where dark shadows normally fell on the skin around their eyes and other depressions on their faces they wore light, sand-colored paint. On their foreheads, cheeks, and other prominent features of their faces that normally shined, they wore dark gray-green face paint. They looked like shadowy ghouls, and Alex was entirely okay with that. Alex cleared his mind and became one with the earth. He carried the .300 Winchester Magnum (Win Mag), a customized Remington 700 sniper ri e wrapped with an olive drab cravat and tied off with a square knot to break up the weapons outline and contrast where the scope attached to the weapon. Olive drab and tan burlap straps broke up the cravats solid green color, making it look like so much scrub and debris and not the deadly weapon it was. Firing a 190-grain match bullet designed to be perfectly symmetrical around its circumference, the Win Mag could reach out and touch anyone. Alex remembered the look of bored indifference that other soldiersnonsnipersgot when he talked about the various pluses and minuses of equipment makers and speci cations, but then snipers were a special breed. Crazy, as Alex would be the rst to admit, but crazy in a very, very purposeful way. The obsession with equipment spilled over into less critical areas of a SEALs life, like having the right trousers or sunglasses sometimes a guy needs enough

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pockets for his working tools and doesnt want to be blinded by the sun while hes working occasionally, a guy just wants to look cool. Making the right equipment choice led to survival. Making the wrong equipment choice could lead to becoming a terrorists new plaything. Once in the alcove, Alex and Smiley lay close so Smiley could point out something to Alex on their map. Close enough so Smiley could watch the vapor trail of Alexs bullet splash into the target. If needed, Smiley could whisper feedback. Smiley lasered the distances to prominent features: bend in a trail, boulder, clump of shrubs, abandoned house, etc. The boulder rested near the border between Afghanistan and Pakistan. Alex squeezed the two-pound trigger, dry ring while listening for the ring pins proper operation. Then he simulated reloading: smoothly manipulating the ri e bolt with minimum movement and without taking his eyes out of the scope. In case their target ran, Alex practiced an ambush, holding his sight at a point ahead of the targets path and waiting until the dirtbag ran into Alexs crosshairs, then pulling the trigger. The sun inched up the gray sky behind the thousand-foot-high, charcoal-colored mountains a couple of miles in front of the two SEALs. The long shadows, cast by scattered trees and shrubs, retracted. A light lm of dirt powdered Alexs face. Except for the whisper of a slight wind, it was eerily quiet. Through Alexs Leupold 10-power sniper scope, he spotted three specks in the distance. Smiley saw them, too. They came closer. Three bearded men appeared out of the gloom and walked across the border from Pakistan. They wore the traditional tribal salwar kameez combination of loose- tting trousers and tunic and the distinctive pakol hats that reminded Alex of muf n tops. Each had an AK-47 slung across his shoulders. Alex paused. It was possible the weapons were AK-74s, the smaller 5.45mm version of Kalashnikovs original gift of terror to the world, but in the end it shouldnt matter.

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As long as Alex and Smiley did their jobs, the terrorists would never get a shot off. Still, Alex reminded himself never to assume. It might make an ass out of you, but it could get him killed. The men stopped four hundred yards in front of the SEALs at an abandoned house made out of mud. It was nestled among Afghan government buildings and a few empty shells that were once peoples homes. The man in the middle was their target: Abu al-Zubaydi, one of the Talibans leading bomb makers in Afghanistan. Al-Zubaydi rst learned his trade in a Taliban training camp in Afghanistan. Recently, he had bombed the Red Cross, Afghan police, Afghan government, and others in order to destabilize the country so he and his comrades could step in and take control. A lot of innocent men, women, and children had died because of him. The SEALs gave him the codename Half-ass because he had only one handthe right. Even a terrorist needs both hands to be a complete asshole. On his right side stood his bodyguard, a native of Yemen according to the intel, and on his left was Half-asss old friend from Tunisia: Hannibal. The three men wore olive drab Chinese AK-47 chest pouches. Zeus, this is Ambassador, Alex called on the radio. Zeus was the call sign for Patrick, Alexs boss. Patrick was a SEAL of cer, but he wasnt much of a leader. He was simply a manager with no vision, reacting to events around him. Patrick maintained the status quo or whichever way the wind blew. He liked to take credit for things his men did well but blame them for things that went wrong. Patrick spent more time planning operations than operating. He preferred what looked good to what actually worked. Patrick had little vision of what the future could be. Even if he could envision the future, it was doubtful he could take his men there. Static crackled in his earpiece. He tried again. Zeus, this is Ambassador, over. More static. He looked over at Smiley. Wiggle the little doohickey on the top, Smiley said. Alex shook his head. Little doohickey? This was a precision piece

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of electronic equipment. Still, Alex tapped the top of the radio and gave it a little shake. Zeus, this is Ambassador. Primary target in sight, Alex said. Alex and Smileys asset was supposed to meet with Half-ass and signal the sniper team, verifying it was indeed their target. Unfortunately, the asset was nowhere in sight. Maybe hed decided he didnt need the money so much after all. Maybe hed been captured. That thought gave Alex pause. Maybe the terrorists knew there was a SEAL Team out there. Alex banished the thought. One of Halfasss bodyguards went inside the abandoned house, then came out a minute later. He said something before Half-ass disappeared into the house. Ambassador, Zeus. Con rm main target is Half-ass, over. Smiley grunted. Alex took his eye away from the scope long enough to shake his head at Smiley. Negative. Asset is a no-show. Alex and Smiley waited and waited. Half-ass stepped outside. He and the bodyguards looked around, dgeting. Still, the asset was nowhere in sight. The terrorists seemed ready to bug out. Con rm target is Half-ass, over. Alex cursed under his breath. Asset is not available for con rmation ID, but Im sure this is Half-ass, he whispered into his radio. Did the asset give positive ID, over? Zeus asked. Alex knew it was Of cer-in-Charge (OIC) Patrick. Zeus, I say again, the asset is a no-show, but I can verify that the primary target is Half-ass. Zeus wasnt having it. Not good enough, Ambassador. We need positive con rmation from the asset. For Petes sake! Ive memorized Half-asss photos. Missing appendage, scar dissecting left eyebrow. Im looking at him right now through my scope. We need asset con rmation of primary target, Ambassador. Alex would have stood up and screamed into the morning sky if it

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wouldnt have gotten him and Smiley killed. I say again, Zeus, the asset is a no-show. You know the parameters, Ambassador. No asset, no con rmation signalno shot! The asset is nowhere in sight. Half-ass and his bodyguards began walking toward Pakistan. Its him. Half-ass is moving toward Pakistan. If he walks fty more yards, we lose him. Understood, Ambassador, but it doesnt matter. Without con rmation we dont engage. But hell be inside Pakistan in another minute. Thats why we have to take him out now. Negative, Ambassador, negative! We need asset con rmation, rst. Alex felt Smileys hand resting on his shoulder. Easy, tiger. Alex clenched his teeth. He meant to blow up those Red Cross nurses, Smiley. He targeted children. Hes a sick killer. I know it and you know it and dollars to doughnuts, Zeus knows it, but that doesnt change things. The asset didnt show, so we dont shoot. This is not worth throwing away your career for . . . Alex couldnt believe his ears. He had one of the most evil men on the planet in his sights and he was being told not to shoot. It felt like he was choking. Half-ass continued to walk back toward the border. He was now twenty- ve yards away from safe haven. I understand your frustration, Ambassador, Zeus said, his voice taking on a sympathetic tone, but our orders are clear: do not take out the target without direct con rmation from our asset. Well never get another chance like this, Alex said to Smiley. Thats what I know. Let it go, Smiley said. I cant let him cross the border into Pakistan. I am telling you one last time: do not take out the target without asset con rmation.

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Half-ass approached the border and began to walk faster. Request compromise authority, Zeus, Alex asked, going for the nal fallback position. Permission denied. I cant accept that, Zeus. It doesnt matter what you can accept, its an order. Alex eased his face away from the scope and looked over at Smiley. I cant accept it. What other choice do we have? The radio crackled. Ambassador, con rm that you understand and will obey mission protocol. I want con rmation of that, now, or you will be nished! Alex, Smiley whispered calmly. Hes in Pakistan now. Through his scope, Alex saw Half-ass walking quickly beyond the boulder at the border. All the months of work leading up to this moment . . . The sweat of my Teammates . . . Blood of the innocent . . . He felt numb lying there in the dirt. Then a single thought shone in Alexs mind. The way became clear. Zeus, weve been spotted. Were taking re, were tak Alex said before driving the SATCOM communications radio down onto a rock and smashing it. Half-ass is still in range. Were taking him out. You sure about this? Smiley asked. Alex reacquired Half-ass and focused on his breathing. Always and forever. Youre going to get us court-martialed, Smiley said, but he kept the laser range nder pointed on the terrorists. Alexs rear elbow gave him balance. The ri e butt rested rmly in his right shoulder pocket. His shooting hand calmly held the small of the stock, nger on the trigger. Four hundred seventeen yards. Send . . . if youre sure, Smiley said.

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Cheek touching his thumb on the small of the stock, Alex inhaled. He aligned his crosshairs in the center of Half-asss back. Exhale. After purging the carbon dioxide from his lungs, he held the natural pause between his exhale and inhalelong enough to keep the crosshairs steady but not so long as to cause muscular tension and blurred vision. Even though the terrorists were walking away from him, he took his time. This rst shot was the cold shot. The barrel wouldnt be as accurate because it hadnt warmed up yet from ring. His nger gently squeezed the trigger until he heard the shot and felt the recoil. Half-ass tumbled forward into the dirt. Alex pulled the bolt back and removed the spent shell. With a smooth movement of his wrist and ngers that hed practiced thousands of times, he moved the bolt forward, chambering a new one. The bodyguards hugged the ground next to Half-ass. The one from Yemen was experienced enough for his eyes to follow the sound of the shot and the sound of the projectile ying through the air that took out his leader. He aimed his assault ri e de nitely an AK-47 by the soundin the SEALs direction and sprayed, but his shots werent even close. He was shooting at ghosts. Alex capped him in the forehead. The mans pakol popped into the air like a muf n ung from a baking pan. Half-ass squirmed, his one hand ailing at the air. Bastards still alive. Hannibal, the third terrorist, hopped to his feet and sprinted toward cover. If Hannibal hooked up with his comrades, theyd come looking for Alex and Smiley. Their evac route was a long hump up and down two mountain valleys crawling with Taliban. Hannibal couldnt get away. Alex aimed at the middle of his back. As he squeezed the trigger, Hannibal tripped and fell. The shot missed. Damn. Alex had only two more shots in his Win Mag. He put a new round in the chamber. Hannibal stood and ran, but before he could gain speed, Alex caught him in the back, dropping him to his knees. The terrorist crawled,

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trying to get up again. Alex chambered the last round and put a bullet into the base of Hannibals skull. Smiley handed Alex a new round. Alex calmly chambered the round in his empty Win Mag. Main target at four hundred eighteen feet. Send, Smiley said. Alex reacquired the fallen terrorist and shot. He didnt pause, he didnt think of a cool line to say, he just shot. Three bodies lay still. Birds, scared by the gun re, continued to y north. Although Half-ass wouldnt be terrorizing anyone anymore, Alex would have to face the consequences of disobeying a direct order. The enormity of what he had just done came crashing down on him. I enjoyed Team Six while it lasted, Smiley said. My call, my fall. I could have stopped you, Smiley said. Alex blinked and lifted his face off the stock of his ri e. No, you couldnt.

W A their Afghanistan base, the shit didnt so much hit the fan as pile up all around it. Smiley, his grin never wavering, described in colorful detail the appearance of a group of Taliban that proceeded to open re on them. Alex nodded and veried everything Smiley said. Patrick didnt believe them. Alex knew damn well their mission had probably been monitored from at least two different platforms high in the sky, but he also knew there was enough truth in their story that it would be hard to disprove. And whatever else, three terrorists were dead. Finally, Smiley was dismissed with no charges. Patrick waited until Smiley was out the door and then he walked right up to Alex. You think I dont know what you did? You failed to follow the protocol and you disobeyed a direct order. The words were clear,

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but Alex heard the wariness in Patricks voice. Hes not 100 percent sure. He cant prove it. Alex knew enough to say nothing. Patrick barked for another ten minutes. If he thought Alex might break and admit everything, he didnt understand shit. From the rst day of BUD/S, Alex had been prepared to go black. It happened when they made them swim and perform tasks under the water with no oxygen tanks. Your lungs would start to burn, then your vision would start to get gray at the edges before nally going all black and you went unconscious. It was terrifying, but it was also the only way. If you werent prepared to go black, why the hell were you there? Finally realizing the futility of haranguing Alex, Patrick ordered him to pack his bags and return to Dam Neck, Virginia, home of Team Six. Shit. He knew his days were numbered. Administrative duty if he was lucky, maybe even transfer him out of the Teams altogether. What if they kick me out of the navy? If I cant hunt terrorists, what can I do?